Teacher Talk Thursday: Classroom Share

September 28, 2011

I always love to see how teachers organize and decorate their classrooms. It's always fun and inspiring to see so many creative, amazing ideas. Today I am sharing photos of one of my classrooms. In this particular classroom, I was in a mobile old mobile unit that had served as everything from a music and ESL classroom to my Second Grade classroom, and it showed. Here's a look at how I organized my classroom in a very small setting...

This is the main entrance area, and my classroom library before I had a chance to organize it. The purple shelf area is where students hang their belongings. It was originally wood before I painted it. As you can see, I hate white space...

My classroom library after I organized it. Again, I didn't have much space, and I have to have things organized. Plus, my students needed a simple way to organize the books and remember where they went. I loved how this worked. I picked up the baskets at Dollar Tree and made the labels myself. The basket on the top is for the week's featured books. I think it's great to add new books whenever you can. It keeps kids excited. Every week I put five new books in the basket; the books were a mixture of season-related, topic-related, class read alouds, and just simply books I wanted to share.

This was my reading area. The cupcakes above the board have student birthdays on them. The red pocket chart on the board is our schedule.

These bookshelves hold guided reading books, textbooks, and dictionaries. As for the posters on the wall, I have Manners Matters posters and our classroom job rules, which I will explain tomorrow. My room kind of had a monkey theme, so that is the calendar set I had. Then, I have our ABCs and coin/coin value wall decorations.

This is the front of my classroom. I have the Pledge of Allegiance, behavior chart, US map, weather set, and reading poster.

This is my behavior chart. I used the card system and kids received a sticker for every day they stayed on purple. If they stayed on purple all week, they got a reward from the prize box. When they filled their chart, they got a chance ticket for a quarterly raffle.

I kept my calendar dates on the mall in completely random order. Not only did it take up the dreaded white space it also was great number recognition practice. My weather set reinforced weather concepts, temperature, and seasons.

This is where my assistant sat. The cabinets held art supplies, and I used the wall space to create a display area for student work. This is also where my student mailboxes were, which I will tell you about in a second!

For my student work display area, I laminated sheets of purple construction paper as my background, and I just put student work over it. Easy, quick display area.

I used mailboxes for my student filing system. Any checked work, parent handouts, homework, etc. went in the student's mailbox. At the end of the day, all work was taken out of their mailbox and placed in their Parent/Teacher Communication Folder to go home. Folders were returned daily. I love the mailbox filing's so easy. My mailboxes were banker's boxes I found at Office Max, and I just used a label maker to label each child's box.

This is my clock/closet/helper area. The two "play" clocks show specials and lunch times, so kids won't have to ask me what time they are and how long it is until then. My closet held all of my manipulatives, and I used this tree as my helper section. The coconuts had our classroom jobs on them, and I drew names out of the yellow bags weekly.

The following pictures are of my computer area. I had four student computers. I used this area to display posters.This was probably my most challenging task in decorating my classroom. Behind these mats is a major fire hazard disgrace! Nailed to the wall is a huge wooden board with routers, modems, power strips, you name it nailed to it. You don't even want to know how awful it looked! These mats were just hung in front it and worked perfectly! I used them as a book recommendation area. Each week students filled out a banana laminate of a book they had read that week that they really enjoyed, and I posted them on the mats.

This is the remaining part of my computer area. The "Scooping for Math Facts" was a math facts challenge for students. Next, is school expectations, and the beginning of my shape cards. The curtains were handmade.

As the photo says, these are my filing cabinets. I have plants, student work, baskets for decoration, and Language Arts center cards.

This is my area, the teacher's area! I have my desk, table, and bookshelf holding my teaching resources. The bulletin board is for a school-wide behavior program.

Like I have talked about before, teaching is 90% paperwork, or at least it seems like it. I had to come up with a way to organize all that paperwork or else my desk was buried in it. I picked up these trays from Office Max and labeled them certain subjects...such as math, reading, writing, to be sent home, to be sent to office. I also have my teacher reward kit (bookmarks, stickers, postcards, notepads, certificates, etc.), BrainQuest, and my fishbowl used for centers.

I hope you enjoyed my little classroom tour. I'd love to do a feature post every week sharing classroom tours. If you're interested, send me an email at with a writeup about your classroom and photos, along with a link to your blog or email, if you'd like, and I'll let you know when you will be featured.
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